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  • Writer's pictureFrank Finamore

From Frank ... a childhood memory I put to work everyday

Growing up in a large family (me + six sisters) I have many childhood memories that play as vignettes in my mind from time to time. But there is one in particular that I swear belongs in a movie. The monthly grocery run.

Okay, that sounds odd, but let me explain. My mother was paid once a month, and grocery run was scheduled shortly after payday. With seven hungry kids, it was by necessity a bulk buying trip (which even before COSTCO must have been more economical). But it wasn't the purchasing that I remember, it was the unpacking.

My sisters and I organized the grocery unpacking with a precision worthy of an auto assembly line. We each had a specialty. We were all short in stature, which meant that we organized the mission according to strength or "reach." The strongest carried the bags into the kitchen, the littlest unloaded and passed items to the mid-sized who could reach the higher shelves (if they stood on the counter). As the smallest, I was assigned a choice position standing on a counter with responsibility for the lower shelves. The precision operation was impressive, and the work was completed in no time. It was efficient and also a lot of fun.

I think it has stuck with me over the years because it was an indelible lesson on the impact of teamwork. I often draw on it when tackling a new Village challenge, because the Village is a lot like a family ... we tackle problems together none of us can solve alone, and we build a lot of memories and a wonderful sense of community along the way.

Members Can be Volunteers Too!

We want to make it easier for members to also be volunteers, so next Tuesday at 5:30, we’re holding a special volunteer orientation just for members. We need volunteers to help with many tasks, including:

Welcome New Members – Call and email new members, deliver their “new member materials”, welcome them to the Village, discuss upcoming events, and join them at an upcoming event to make sure that they are comfortable and acclimated.

Engage Members – Work with the Village staff to assess member engagement, review member surveys, monitor member retention, make program suggestions to the Program Advisory Committee, and conduct periodic outreach to disengaged members.

Serve on the Volunteer Committee – Attend a monthly meeting aimed at ensuring that we have an active, engaged volunteer corps. Help write articles for the quarterly volunteer newsletter, plan volunteer appreciation events, develop volunteer awards programs, etc.

Provide Outreach – Attend community events, such as the farmers’ markets and community association meetings, to discuss the Village opportunities for members and volunteers.

Coordinate with Other Community Organizations – Identify and coordinate with community partners (e.g., faith communities, community associations, businesses/Main Street programs, schools, and other community-based organizations) to provide them with information on the Village, our programs, and volunteer opportunities.

Research Grants – Conduct research on grant opportunities, including local family foundations, appropriate for the Village.

Plan Events – Help plan and staff events of all types, including such things as community concerts, nature walks, TED talk discussion groups, and fundraisers.

So, if you have the time and inclination, we likely have a job for you to help build our Village!

Coming this week

Our next information session on Village membership is scheduled for Friday, March 18th at 1pm via Zoom. We'll cover the the two types of membership and explain how to join. Two of our current members will share their experiences. If you’ve been reading our newsletter but haven't joined, this is for you. Or if you know someone that might be interested, invite them to this session!

Tuesday Talks for March is scheduled for Tuesday March 15 at 7:00 PM. This monthly speaker series is our opportunity to celebrate our wonderful community by inviting notable local experts to share their area of expertise. This month we hear from Woodley Park residents and actors Bari Biern and Scott Sedar who discuss their lifetime in the arts. Bari is a playwright, actor, lyricist, and opera librettist who was a member of The Capitol Steps. Scott is an actor, singer, and artist. With 46 years in the theater they have lots of experience to draw from. It should be an entertaining event! Register here to receive your link to this presentation. Please consider supporting your local restaurants by getting a meal to enjoy before, during, or after the event.

Frank Finamore is Executive Director of the Villlage



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